New Liverpool coach Arne Slot eyes €45m reunion with former Feyenoord captain

Liverpool are ready to make a summer transfer bid for Benfica midfielder Orkun Kokcu, according to reports in the press.

Kokcu is set to hook up with his former Feyenoord mentor Arne Slot at Anfield, with the Turkey international having been captain under the guidance of the 45-year-old coach.

He worked as an important linking player under Slot, registering 12 goals and five assists in 46 appearances in his last campaign in the Eredivisie.

Turkish media report that Slot wants Kokcu to join him on Merseyside, while Portuguese outlet A Bola indicates that Benfica want no less than €45 million for the midfield general, who is under contract in Lisbon until 2028.

His contract includes a buyout clause worth €120m.

Kokcu hits out at Benfica boss

Kokcu has had a mixed season in Portugal, despite playing 43 games. He notably gave an explosive interview in which he spoke out against head coach Roger Schmidt.

In March, he told De Telegraaf: “This is not what I expected. There was a lot going on in the transfer market last summer, I made a conscious choice for Benfica with the idea that this was the best step in my career to further develop in all areas. That only partially happened.

“I have of course seen how other players have been put in the spotlight in Portugal and at other big clubs. That creates a certain status. I never felt like I was being made important from the start. Not even by the coach!

“I am the type of footballer who has the most to give to a team if you give me the freedom. (...) Schmidt links me too much to all kinds of tasks. And that is not necessary if you really want to use my qualities.”

Kokcu’s former club Feyenoord will earn a resale percentage of 25% when he departs, so can look forward to €11.25m if a deal between Benfica and Liverpool is concluded.

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